Best Experience of My Life Past Review

By (Texas A&M University - College Station) - abroad from 07/03/2017 to 08/04/2017 with

API (Academic Programs International): Florence - Lorenzo de’ Medici – The Italian International Institute (LDM)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I not only gained knowledge of the historical monuments in the city and their food culture, but I gained a perspective about how others live. I acclimated to a different language, lifestyle, and setting. I was challenged to make new friends (as I came alone) and to keep up an apartment with 4 roommates. I learned to appreciate the beauty in exotic places, but I also saw how that made me more grateful for the wonderful things I have at home. It was worth every penny and every second!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This is undoubtedly the most invigorating and exciting educational environment I've ever been in! I got to stay in a wonderful city, had freedom to explore, learned intriguing material, and was given the opportunity to expand my culinary skills. API was so accommodating and the advisors were personable and fun!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

PHENOMENAL! I loved each of the advisors. They made us feel comfortable and at home, and were willing to drop everything to help us in a time of need. They were great to spend time with and very welcoming.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment was safe, clean, spacious, and conveniently located.

* Food:

The Italian cuisine is rivaled by none! Simple, fresh, delicious, and they were very accommodating to my dietary restrictions.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because we were given freedom to live in our own apartments and immerse ourselves in the city life and routine, I felt like a true Florentine!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Everyone was well informed and well taken care of in the event of an emergency.

* Safety:

I felt safe to walk around on my own and to explore. I even felt safe to walk around at night with friends. We did not have any safety issues.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I would absolutely do API again, and definitely in Florence! I loved the city, the people, and the instructors and material in class! It was an absolute DREAM!


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I would say that Europe is pretty expensive. I saved money by cooking meals in my apartment, but I did shop quite a bit and travel on weekends. It's definitely possible to go with minimal funding, but I like high end clothing and quality cuisine.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200 about (most was traveling on weekends and shopping)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would eat at home as much as possible, and limit yourself on shopping time. Make a list of souvenirs and gifts you want beforehand and then make a list of things that you want to buy for yourself- don't deviate from that and you'll have no trouble!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • people/friendships
  • the cooking class
* What could be improved?
  • I would have liked to have more contact with other students in my program earlier on.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known how quickly it would go by. I was in awe of the experience and loved every moment, but it went by so quickly.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Italian Regional Food in a Cultural Perspective

Course Department: Nutrition & Health
Instructor: Marco C.
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Marco was so helpful in teaching us about the Italian culture and how that flows into food preparation and enjoyment. I loved that he challenged us to remember and produce the dishes- it was a great learning experience and he was there when we needed him. Sitting down together to enjoy our work was the best part of the course!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Palaces of Florence

Course Department: Art History
Instructor: Laura Finelli
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was so interesting and informative. I could tell you the history of so many wonderful buildings around Florence. It was challenging- especially the research paper- but I learned to appreciate the surroundings infinitely more!
Credit Transfer Issues: